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Animal Crossing hackers are selling impossible ‘star fragment trees’

These pretty decorations aren’t available in the base game

A villager in Animal Crossing stands next to star fragment trees Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Twitter/@peachyisIe

A new sensation is sweeping the Animal Crossing: New Horizons fandom, but it’s not one you can participate in unless you know the right people. It’s also technically not possible to do under normal means.

The New Horizons modding scene has been alive and well for a while now, allowing fans with hacked Switches to do all sorts of things, like being able to eat tarantulas. Lately, hackers have taken to modifying trees, making it appear as if they are sprouting star fragments as fruit. However, unlike fruit trees, this sparkly greenery is purely decorative — they’re more like money trees, in that once you shake them, they won’t regrow the fragments, according to people who have them.

The ability extends beyond star fragments: In the leading image on this post, for instance, we can see that the player also has trees heavy with heart crystals (a crafting item that isn’t available yet.) I’ve even seen a screenshot of a tree growing mini-trees inside of it, among other things. But star fragments, by virtue of their gorgeous aesthetics, have become the most popular hacked tree type on social media.

The most common way cited to get these trees are black market Discords. There are a number of giveaway posts on social media where folks promise them to others who share and follow their accounts, but these are just as likely to be scams.

The price varies depending on the source as well. Twitter user @peachyisIe, for instance, said on Twitter they’ve seen the trees go for anywhere from 200-400 Nook Miles Tickets, if not more. Some, however, appear to be taking advantage of the situation and are selling the trees for real-world money, with each one going for at least a dollar or more.

Given the rise in popularity, there’s also a lot of misinformation surrounding these hacked items. There is, for instance, a fear that they may somehow corrupt your game — but there’s no actual evidence that this has occurred to anyone who has them. However, because it’s not actually possible to get these trees in the base game, there’s no telling if Nintendo may not reset them in later patches, if not take action against people who have them. The people buying the trees know this, of course.

“I am aware of ‘potential risks,’” one tree owner, who has had the hacked trees for a few days now, said on Facebook.

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